26th December 2021

To continue from yesterdays dialogue, the best place to commence would probably be to consider, with as much honestly as ‘tis practical and possible, the boy I was born, the inherited and natural gifts and faults applicable, any good aspects and undeniable weaknesses.

I was painfully shy, likely stemming from a natural speech impediment, a painfully intrusive stutter, that developed hand in glove with my ability to speak. As is often the case my unfortunate challenge was considered by peers and invested elders a sign of some mental deficiency, a concept I find quite staggering considering historically my ancestors, particularly the men, were invariably similarly tried. This condition ensured I found general silence quite acceptable, removing any necessity for verbal interactions. This absence of interrogatory to and fro allowed me to spend considerable time reading quite avidly, comic books, novels, journals, dictionaries, encyclopedia, indeed all and every form of printed matter my hands came to rest upon.  I also became quite accustomed to my own company, and found myself gaining a decidedly quizzical nature, a constant thirst for the odd and peculiar, and an inquisitiveness most intense, a quality adults did and still do find most irritating in children.

My one shining light in an otherwise quite dark and conservative environment was a rather eccentric uncle who would take me on circuitous adventures along a nearby riverbank and could weave the most improbable stories from the most matter of fact circumstances, feeding my imagination with fuel enough to ignite a thousand wholly improbable occurrences, and once lit that combustible material embellished my waking and sleeping moments irrevocably.

My beloved uncle passed away, due to a congenital condition aggravated by much unnecessary tomfoolery when I was still but a boy, necessitating me adopting the roles of creator, narrator as well as the principal character of our continuing adventures, I was in no way fit or ready for his formative influence to depart my existence.

My life experience thus far had hardly been full, except perhaps with degrees of ease and comfort unusual in the fifties. My answer to the need for additional persona in my extended tales was to simply utilize a different expression of my own self, to delve into the myriad of personalities we all hold encaged within ourselves. These characters differing physical attributes I cunningly and oft recognizably crafted from relatives, neighbors, peers, acquaintances, and arbitrary strangers.

Thus as but a pre-teen I unhesitatingly drew on the cloak of the good Reverent Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, and began to relate my very bizarre and often obtuse adventures with the multiple personalities that existed and coexisted both in my imagination and my particular version of reality. Interestingly in just occurs to me that the uncle who started this improbable chain of nonsenses was also named Charles.

I have not the slightest problem with the central character of my adventures reflecting Alice Pleasence Hargreaves, particularly as during those formative years my sexuality was a rather wobbly ship, unsure as to the exact variety of port of call she might eventually feel comfortable investing. As happens the steersman did in general choose the more accustomed route, but was ever, is ever, inclined to meander towards all kinds of exotic harbors.

And so to the multiplicitous characters, their rich tapestry, intrinsic roles, each one decidedly unique but tied together as tight as a bundle of wheat in a sheaf. First of course must come the white rabbit, the instigator of all peculiarities, leading Alice, our heroine, to follow him at some speed down the rabbit hole that leads to an enchanted land filled with a collection of inhabitants all equally as strange as a pocket watch toting, waistcoat wearing, lapin blanc. For myself, I am inclined to the wearing of waistcoats and employ a pocket watch, purely for the theatric checking of the hour as feels appropriate.

Next we are confronted with a toadstool sitting caterpillar inclined to smoke heavily upon a hookah pipe. He talks in a most affected manner, as if some eastern guru or the like, but the words are slightly garbled, as if the substance transported by the rose water to his lungs has something more potent than simple tobacco as its source, possibly a little hashish as used by the infamous Hassan-I-Sabbah to intoxicate his followers into performing most dangerous missions. I attempted to make hash myself in my middling teens but found that it did not agree with my stomach in any way shape or form. Tobacco however, or perhaps more correctly nicotine, had been a more or less constant companion, these days in very small percentiles thankfully.

Unimpressed by the Caterpillars intoxicated ways, Alice wandered of into welcoming woods to come across, in a clearing, the very argumentative Tweedle twins, whose main function both in Wonderland, and in my own head space, is to voice totally contradictory statements in response to all remarks and questions. Both Alice and I quickly conclude that either twins perspective has as much merit as t’other and fighting about the preeminence of one is a pointless and endless enterprise. We both become bored and wander away. To be shortly confronted by the White Knight.

The White Knight is an easy persona for me to indulge, decidedly traditional, but with a panache for rather fly apparel and accoutrement, even though it all is rather over stated for purpose. A chevalier of odd oddly familiar movements, forwards most certainly but then decidedly sideways at the end. An inventor of sorts, but only of unnecessary foolishness’s, a man inclined to over extend himself and topple forwards most haphazardly.  Hos company is enjoyable enough momentarily, but after but a short dalliance his strange mode of phraseology tends to grate most alarmingly.

And as the tale rumbles along the characters multiply, always improbably unique, but ever strangely similar. A hare, A hatter, a dormouse, a whole royal family, a court complete with judges and the like, a lion, a unicorn, a turtle, and a griffin, but always and everywhere the white rabbit, a creamy addition that binds the whole custard together quite perfectly yet improbably.

I slip myself in and out of the costumes and masks quite effortlessly, for they all are after all but reflections of one singular performer.

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